Working In The Margins

Imagine you just sat down to read your favorite book. Sprawled before you on the paper are numerous lines of text filled with information and stories grabbing you with every turn. But If you look closely, you’ll notice the white space boarding the text on all sides. Usually, the reader just flips each page without a thought, never even thinking the space between the words even matter. Have you ever thought about how we do this in our own lives? What if you actually learned the importance of your own margins and filled them with information that could not only transform your own life, but possibly the lives of those around you?

If you’re like me, the margins are utilized for note taking. Maybe there is something in the book that you don’t want to forget, so you use the margin to jot down a word or perhaps a quick sentence to remind yourself of the significance of the message.

And sometimes, the margins aren’t enough. For example, when I published my book, The #GoodBatting Book, I intentionally left pages blank for hitters and coaches to jot down notes. It’s been flattering when readers show me their books with notes filling those blank pages. To me, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s taking advantage of opportunity at its finest.

But most of us pick up the book of life and focus only on the text provided.

Some of us do enough to get by. Whether it means we do the bare minimum and go home at 5pm, or show up for stretch and settle on being just an average baseball player. Some may argue that it’s better to follow the rules and get to the finish line in one piece – without error, risk or drama.

But what would happen if you focused on living life in the margins? In other words, what would your life look like if you were focusing on getting 1% Better each and every day?

Recently, I sat down with a hitter to map out his off season. Each year, we try to figure out what he needs to do in order to enhance his develop. As the years go by it’s harder and harder to find things to work on.

He’s been a successful player for many years. When he got drafted, not many people would have bet he would one day play his way into the big leagues. He didn’t have the flashy tools, or carry around the big “prospect” tag. But if you watched him play every day, you would quickly realize he was a ballplayer. For what he lacked in “tools” he more than made up for in his baseball IQ and the ability to get the big hit or be positioned in the right spot to help his team win the game. And that’s why he’s now knocking on the big league’s door.

When you climb the ladder of success, you find yourself becoming part of the 1%. Over time, the most successful players in the game realize that what got them there, won’t get them where they want to go.

We never arrive. We are always becoming.

As we sat down across from each other in the coffee shop, I used the square table we were sitting at to explain our plan of attack.

I ran my fingers along the edges of the table, introducing him to the margins. I explained that on paper, his game seemed to be complete. He was a .300 career hitter. His defense had improved over the years to the point where scouts and front office executives didn’t worry about him being a defensive liability anymore. He had transformed his body in the weight room and started to fill out his uniform and looked like a big leaguer. Someone who came to the ballpark to watch him play would support that claim.

He was filling up 99% of the page and was enjoying a successful career. If he retired tomorrow, people would congratulate him on a “nice career.”

But we both knew his past results weren’t going to extend his career or his earnings and we had to continue to find things in his game to improve. Whether it was becoming more consistent in certain areas or continuing to master a strength in others.

As I continued to run my fingers along the sides of the table, I stressed to him that from now on, his development was going to be found in the margins.

To be common is to focus on the text provided. To be uncommon requires you to live and work in the margins.

There is a certain excitement that comes when you can begin to focus on the 1% of the page. There is something attainable and manageable about working in the margins. The focus is heightened knowing that you can elevate your game and your career by doubling down on one or two skills that lead to success.

Think about all of the extra pages printed in a book because the publishers have refused to utilize the entire page. Think about your career. Have you utilized every inch of your page? Have you only been working on things that everyone else is working on?

Take your game and your career to the next level by finding solutions in the margins.

Get 1% Better today.

Love,

KW


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radiothat showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

KWB Radio – Episode 47 “What Is Your View From The Batter’s Box?”

EPISODE 47: WHAT IS YOUR VIEW FROM THE BATTER’S BOX?

The boys are helping you look at hitting through a different lens in this episode as Joe Ferraro @FerraroOnAir and Kevin Wilson @KWBaseball walk you out to home plate and share with you a different view of hitting.

We dive into Chapter 1 of The #GoodBatting Book as KW explains how he teaches hitters to grow their confidence by taking their preparation to another level.

Click here to listen to Episode 47!

Kevin Wilson Baseball

SHOW NOTES

Links Mentioned On The Podcast

Every Thursday you can read a new post by KW at KWBaseball.com/blog

Joe’s NEW 1% Better Podcast

Grab a copy of The #GoodBatting Book.

 

Where to Find Joe and Kevin

Twitter @FerraroOnAir
Blog FerraroOnAir

Twitter @KWBaseball
Website KWBaseball.com

_____________________________________

Subscribe to KWB Radio on iTunes and Stitcher

Make sure you follow the show on Twitter at @KWBRadio

Teach But Don’t Teach

As a coach, one of the worst things you can do to a player is over-complicate the message and force them into a swing that’s not suited for their body type, athleticism, strengths or personality.

Sadly, as I travel the country, I see more and more round pegs being jammed into square holes.

There is an art to teaching.

Teaching isn’t just reading a book or watching a video on the subject and then trying to regurgitate the information back to the player. Teaching comes from a place of personal experience. Sharing stories that not only sympathize with the player in their current situation, but provide solutions, giving them a roadmap to success.

There is a fine line to walk when you’re a teacher

How much information should I give them? How do they learn? What do I know about the player that can help me choose the appropriate words to use in this situation?

Or perhaps…

Do I tell a hitter something’s wrong, or do I present him with a problem and ask to tell me the solution? Do I have enough time to let them figure it out on their own?

It’s important that your words are delivered with purpose and clarity. Your message should be tailored to fit the specific needs of the player. And sometimes all it takes is for you to be silent and simply throw the baseballs.

When a hitter walks into the cage, he shouldn’t be working on someone else’s swing. Embracing the individual leads to maximizing their own uniqueness. Too many times I walk into a facility and see everyone swinging the same swing – or someone else’s swing.

Not every swing will produce the same results

Teaching is not trying to integrate a 17-step process to hitting that leads to confusion and low-quality work. There isn’t a “drill package” that will fix everyone’s swing.

Teaching is identifying 1 or 2 areas to strengthen and then focusing on them to maximize the opportunity for improvement.

 

Walk In Solutions

There is power in observation.

Before you open your mouth and suggest something to a hitter, especially someone you’ve never met before, take the time to observe how their body moves. Allow the player to swing the bat without commentary from you and showcase not only their weaknesses, but more importantly their strengths.

A teacher’s job is to identify and maximize a player’s strengths, rather than point out the obvious weaknesses without providing solutions. It’s common practice for coaches to point out only the weaknesses, leading the player to believe that he doesn’t have any strengths! Grow the player and identify what they do well.

In other words, walk in solutions.

Anyone can point out what the player is doing wrong, but it takes a leader to provide the hitter a solution.

For example – it’s easy to say, “You’re late on the ball.”

This is a common theme for  a lot of young hitters because they have been taught to let the ball “get deep” or to “let it travel.” As in most things in today’s society, hitters and coaches have interpreted this in the most literal sense by letting the ball get so far back that it beats them, thus not creating enough space to drive the baseball.

If a hitter is late on the ball, instead of pointing out the obvious without providing a solution to the problem, suggest that they find a way to hit the ball off the L-screen.

And then leave it at that.

Get back behind the screen and give them a dozen or so chances to figure out a way to hit the ball off the L-screen. In the meantime, watch how they fix their timing issue on their own without you having to say another word.

This is an example of teaching but not teaching.

Sometimes the best lessons in life come from opportunities to figure it out on our own.

Communication is key when teaching lessons in hitting and in life. And the timing of your communication is crucial to getting the best results in a given moment.

Players need experiences that stretch them. They need challenges where they develop responsibility and ownership.

So how do you teach without teaching?

Present the player with an opportunity. Trust them with the responsibility to fix something on their own. Will they make mistakes? Absolutely. But don’t forget, you did too when you were growing up. Will they sometimes not have a solution to their problems? Yes. But if you “power coach” them and continue to leverage your control on the player, you’re actually hurting their development.

The goal of teaching is to move them from teacher-control to self-control, developing the player to the point where the teacher isn’t needed anymore.

So the next time you feel the urge to teach, give up control and create opportunities for the player to walk under their own self-control.

Inspire someone today.

Love,

KW


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

What is KWB Radio?

The idea was hatched in 2013 when I sat down with my good friend Joe Ferraro and asked him if he wanted to host a podcast with me. The vision was to bring value in terms of thought processes, techniques, mindsets and methodologies to the serious baseball player and coach, as well as the casual fan looking for insights into the game they couldn’t get anywhere else.

Truth be told, in the beginning it was Joe educating me on what a podcast was. Before we launched, I had never listened to a podcast but I knew it could be a great way to reach players and coaches on a more personal level. At the time, podcasts were still an unknown platform that could bring a lot of value to listeners – value that they could trust.

We launched Episode 1 of KWB Radio on August 1, 2014 with guest and good friend Charlie Manuel – manager of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

And since then, it’s been an incredible ride with great guests inside the game of baseball talking about not only hitting, but we are placed inside the lives of players and coaches on and off the diamond.

The purpose of KWB Radio is to take you behind the scenes and into the clubhouse with some of the brightest minds in the game today.

Some of the names you will recognize, but some of my favorites conversations have been with the names you may not be familiar with before you press play.

We share stories about adversity, we find out WHY they do what they do and learn HOW they got to where they are in the game.

They provide countless examples and principles for success on and off the field.

We highlight those stories and bring them to life for you in 40-60 minute episodes.

In 2017 we took a break for a few months. We recently released Episode 46Where Do Home Runs Come From? and the response has been overwhelming. We used to joke in the first few episodes that “no one is listening anyway.” But we quickly found out that, in fact, a lot of people were starting to listen – and many more continue to listen today.

You just never know what to expect when you come back from a break like we did. But it’s another reminder of how much we appreciate our loyal listeners. We are so thankful because without you, we don’t have a show.

Joe and I are so grateful for your support, your emails, your suggestions and your 5-star ratings and reviews. We love to get in the studio and talk shop and we are serious when we say that even if nobody was listening, we would still have a blast doing what we do.

If you are new to KWB Radio, subscribe to the show in iTunes or Stitcher and never miss another episode.

We are excited to continue to provide value through our first class guests and quality content. If you like what you hear, please share the show with someone you care about.

All it takes is 5 minutes to change someone’s life.

 


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

KWB Radio – Episode 46 “Where Do Home Runs Come From?”

EPISODE 46: WHERE DO HOME RUNS COME FROM?

The boys are back!! Joe Ferraro @FerraroOnAir and Kevin Wilson @KWBaseball are back in-studio to bring you Episode 46 of @KWBRadio! KW asks Joe where he’s been the past 9 months as he reveals the details of his absence – the 1% Better Project. Joe takes back control of the show and asks KW about the #GoodBatting Blog, getting him to elaborate on a few posts including “Where Do Your Home Runs Come From.” Finally, KW reveals the vision and plan for the new and improved KWB Radio!

Click here to listen to Episode 46!

Kevin Wilson Baseball

SHOW NOTES

Links Mentioned On The Podcast

Every Thursday you can read a new post by KW at KWBaseball.com/blog

Joe’s NEW 1% Better Podcast

Grab a copy of The #GoodBatting Book.

 

Where to Find Joe and Kevin

Twitter @FerraroOnAir
Blog FerraroOnAir

Twitter @KWBaseball
Website KWBaseball.com

_____________________________________

Subscribe to KWB Radio on iTunes and Stitcher

Make sure you follow the show on Twitter at @KWBRadio